There is a plethora of research on the psychological effects of divorce on adolescents and teenagers but there is little to no research on the effect that divorce may have on infants and toddlers. There may not be as much research because infants and toddlers cannot enunciate their feelings or thoughts to others. We cannot get into the head of an infant to better understand their emotions but, by observing the actions of parent and child, we may be able to get a clearer picture of what the child may be feeling during a time of high stress, such as the divorce of their parents.
My research will open doors to deeper investigation into how a life-changing event, such as divorce, affects young children. It is common knowledge that divorce tends to have a negative effect on an older child’s psychological and emotional well-being. It is not known if the psychological consequences will have a lasting effect if the separation takes place while the child is still too young to understand what is going on. Childhood amnesia could also play a role in minimizing the long-term effects of divorce on young children, but a longitudinal design study spanned across many years, beyond age three, would have to prove this idea.
Clarke-Steward et al. (2000), along with the U.S. National Institute of Child Health and Human
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